I almost called this entry “one man’s opinion” but the other heading looked better on paper…
We have come to live in a society where a single uttered word can unleash all kinds of Pavlovian gut reactions. “Racist”, “Homophobic”, “Misogyny”, “Fascist”, Etc. The list of these terms is becoming longer every day and the number of those who use, or misuse, these words is also growing. I will concentrate on one specific moniker for the duration of this entry: “Immigrants”. Wait, read on… Don’t go off yet…
It is a topic which awakens feelings; both for and against. Yes, this nation has been built by immigrants but, for the most part and up to the last 10 years or so, these came in a somewhat orderly fashion and following a protocol. As is done in all other countries, we do have to have strong borders; I am also not against a temporary ban to immigrants from countries where the main export is terrorism (under any guise); anyone who commits a punishable crime, should be punished to the extent of the law. If you are a citizen or legal resident, you'll go to jail. If you are an immigrant without papers, you'll be deported. I will also define a “criminal immigrant” as someone who has committed an actual crime not just a person who has no documents.
Then, and I am afraid some of my conservative friends may not agree, there are millions who came and have lived here for 10, 15 and even 20 or more years and who have not been able to get papers. Criminals? Not so sure on that score. Most are church going, working 2-3 jobs at menial or less than menial pay to give their families a head start. Despite their low income, many have filed returns over the years, trying to contribute to the society which grudgingly gave them a place, albeit in its hidden corners.
Millions have, despite their legal handicaps, bought homes, cars, raised families -without asking for gov't help- and even a good number have started very successful businesses which generate millions in taxes & payroll every year and where they have given jobs to untold number of other immigrants and citizens. In many cases, I daresay, they have become better members of society than many US born citizens we have come to know along the way.
I'll go further. Many sons of these "illegal" immigrants have proudly worn the uniform in service to our country and of those, many have paid the ultimate price. Do these folk deserve to be judged without a hearing? I do not think so.
I am an immigrant and have citizen status thanks to the fact that one president saw fit to give a chance to those immigrants who had served during the Viet Nam years. I believe it is time to truly look at these proud and good folk, and judge each by what he/she has done, outside the general hysteria that surrounds this topic.
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